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|| ARTWORK || Mit Roter Fahne (With Red Flag)

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Installation view of The Red Bean Grows in the South”, Faurschou Foundation, New York, 2019,Mit Roter Fahne (With Red Flag), 1965, Oil on canvas, 64 x 511 1/4 in Photo by Ed Gumuchian © Faurschou Foundation 


Mit Roter Fahne (1965) is part of Georg Baselitzs series Heroes, which cemented his reputation as one of the most provocative voices of the post-war era. Produced between 1965 and 1966,Mit Roter Fahne, depicts a heroic soldier. With its diminutive head, tattered uniform, the soldier appears humiliated, almost foolish, carrying an oversized scarlet flag rather as a burden than a signifier of victory. To right of the figure the faded outlines of a building are visible in the distance. Red traces of blood drip from a gash in the figures leg, while the monumental flag echoes the red. The Hero symbolizes the depleted survivors of devastated post-war Germany, or those returning home from catastrophes and horrors of conflict zones today.


Installation view of The Red Bean Grows in the South”, Faurschou Foundation, New York, 2019,Mit Roter Fahne (With Red Flag)(detail), 1965, Oil on canvas, 64 x 511 1/4 in Photo by Ed Gumuchian © Faurschou Foundation 



The painting also signifies a defeated nation. It is not coincidental that the monumental pose of the figure, an archetypal expression of heroic masculinity, is reminiscent to both Fascist and Socialist Realist heroic iconography, and perhaps hints to the political aims and homogenized approaches to subject matter, the artist himself was influenced by during his early years in East Berlin. Furthermore, the tragic character and isolation of the figure in Mit Roter Fahne testifies to the strong effect of German Romanticism. The roaming youthful figure is reminiscent of a specifically Romantic phenomenon, from Goethes epistolary novel The Sorrow of Young Werther, to Caspar David Friedrichs Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog. The poor condition of this figure, however, denotes any kind of Romantic reading into Baselitz painting.


Installation view of The Red Bean Grows in the South”, Faurschou Foundation, New York, 2019,Mit Roter Fahne (With Red Flag)(detail), 1965, Oil on canvas, 64 x 511 1/4 in Photo by Ed Gumuchian © Faurschou Foundation 



About Artist


Georg Baselitz(b. 1938) is a German painter, sculptor, and graphic artist. In the 1960s, he became well-known for his figurative, expressive paintings.

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